The Pacific University football team added two new coaching assistants to the staff for the 2017-2018 season, both of whom played on the team just last year.
New coaching assistant Jack Perez, who graduated from Pacific in 2017, was an All-American last year and was named Male Athlete of the Year at Pacific. Perez also has a school record of 123 tackles in one season, which helped him earn First Team-all West Region honors by D3football.com.
The Boxers also added to the coaching staff 2017 graduate Jeff Bajema, who tied Pacific’s record for tackles for a loss last season. His resume also includes being named First Team All-Northwest Conference for three years of his career at Pacific.
Having former players on the coaching staff has been a tremendous help, with their skills and knowledge helping current players get to where they need to be to succeed.
“I think I will be able to bring playing experience and a player’s perspective to the team,” Bajema said. “Seeing as I played with the team this past season, I will be able to relate to things players are going through and be able to coach them up in order for them to be successful.”
Perez said he feels the same way with his former experience playing for the Boxers.
“A lot of the players seem to value the advice and coaching we can give them because they know we are here to really try and help them,” Perez said. “I can also relate to a lot of the issues players can be going through as a former player and teammate to a lot of the kids on our team.”
This coaching position will be an opportunity for both Perez and Bajema to get a better feel for what they hope to do with coaching in the future. “I know that there will be coaching in my future,” Bajema said. “But I haven’t yet decided what level it will be at.”
As for Perez, his goals are to try and coach at the highest level possible. According to Perez, Pacific is the perfect starting place.
“I am a very competitive person and really try to push myself and career to the absolute highest level I can,” Perez said. “I think being at Pacific is the perfect place for me to start my career and try to reach those goals.”